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I’m looking at a presidential candidate on the news right now. Mitt Romney is telling Israel what the US will do to support them. Huh? Does a candidate define existing US foreign policy? Here is the cut from the AP this afternoon:  

“Make no mistake, the ayatollahs in Iran are testing our moral defenses. They want to know who will object and who will look the other way,” he said. “We will not look away nor will our country ever look away from our passion and commitment to Israel.”

He later backed away, more likely his staff backed away from his comments in a written statement, saying the candidate “believes we should employ any and all measures to dissuade the Iranian regime from its nuclear course and it is his fervent hope that diplomatic and economic measures will do so. In the final analysis, of course, no option should be excluded.” [The Associated Press Published Look again. There is no “I” or “we should” or any wiggle room. He uses the term “our country” Not so fast big guy. While the big donor Sheldon Adelson (who said he will spend any amount of money to see you elected) was in the crowd, this thing isn’t over yet. Meanwhile, when not the president, do not make foreign policy.

 Commentary rang and is still ringing from all corners, The AP, The UK Guardian, NPR and more. And the bloggers well, I’m not keen on linking blogs, but I think SLATE may have hit the nail with their analysis of his UK gaffes:

Romney’s World

Mitt’s insults, mistakes, and blunders abroad aren’t gaffes. They actually represent his true worldview. By Fred Kaplan Posted Friday, July 27, 2012, at 4:21 PM ET

http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/war_stories/2012/07/mitt_romney_s_insults_and_mistakes_while_at_the_london_olympics_aren_t_gaffes_as_much_as_a_fair_representation_of_his_worldview_.html

It is well worth reading the whole article but meanwhile, here are a couple paragraphs:

“Charles Krauthammer, the right-wing commentator who usually finds every excuse to attack Barack Obama—he took Obama’s blinking during a tête-à-tête with Vladimir Putin as a sign of appeasement—pronounced himself befuddled by the GOP candidate’s flare of incompetence.”

“The American capitalists-turned-statesmen of an earlier generation—Douglas Dillon, Averell Harriman, Robert Lovett, John McCloy, Dean Acheson, Paul Nitze—took risks, built institutions, helped rebuild postwar Europe, befriended their foreign counterparts: in short, they cultivated an internationalist sensibility at their core. Whatever you think of their politics or Cold War policies generally (and there is much to criticize), financiers formed an American political elite in that era because finance (through the Marshall Plan, the World Bank, the IMF, and so forth) was so often the vehicle of American expansionism.”

“By contrast, private-equity firms, such as Bain Capital, where Romney made his fortune, tend to view their client companies as cash cows, susceptible to cookie-cutter formulas from which the firms’ partners reap lavish fees, almost regardless of the outcome. Their ends and means breed an insularity, a sense of entitlement, a disposition to view all the world’s entities through a single prism and to appraise them along a single scale.”

“How Romney should have behaved in London may have been obvious to Charles Krauthammer, who studies politics; it would have been obvious to politically ambitious businessmen from more traditional lines of work or from an earlier era. But as we have been graced to see this week, it is not necessarily obvious to Romney himself.”

Where will we be if the gaffes continue?

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